Can I headspace a Savage with a piece of once-fired brass?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by CRNA, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. CRNA

    CRNA Well-Known Member

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    Just a curiosity question. I got to thinking and question is: would it be possible to headspace a rifle (re-headspace after removing the barrel) with a piece of once-fired brass? If the brass was fired with the same rifle?
     

  2. padd54

    padd54 Well-Known Member

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    I am an amature at this, and it was my first attempt at a barrel change, but that is exactly what I did.

    I have taken the rifle out and it shoots great!

    I will interested in seeing what the "old hands" have to say.
     

  3. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    I have head spaced some with a FULL length resized case with two pieces of scotch tape stuck to the base of the case. It works. :D
     
  4. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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    You may get lucky once or twice, then again you may blow it up the first time. Rent the
    go no-go gauges. It's about 5.00 plus shipping.
     
  5. CRNA

    CRNA Well-Known Member

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    I will use the go/no go. But my once fired brass should fit after this right? Again, more of a curiosity question than anything. I am going to have a friend give me a hand with it to make sure I don't do something stoopid.
     
  6. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    It can be done with no issues either way, you can easily get a barrel back to where it was but I like to get the head spacing to min so I use a gauge first then after that I'll use a certain piece of brass. I have one rifle that has 4 different WSM and RUM barrels and I have no issues resetting them back.
     
  7. CRNA

    CRNA Well-Known Member

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    Good to know. My barrel came loose. Sort of a freak thing. I made a thread about it a couple months ago. I was just wondering if the fired case would allow me to get closer to the measurements that I had been using. I would hate for all of my load development and measurements to be completely screwed up. Then again, I have no idea as to what the "space" gap is between the go and no go gages, so maybe it couldn't possibly be bad enough to completely ruin my previous load development.
     
  8. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    You should use a piece of virgin brass to get your minimum headspace. Then use a single piece of masking tape to check for no go. Don't force the bolt when you have the tape on. It shouldn't close. Make sure you screw the barrel down until it stops. Make sure it is a firm stop. You don't want to use sized or once fired brass. That will make a sloppy fit for virgin brass or factory ammo.
     
  9. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I've had the exact opposite experience!!! Virgin brass in my WSM's will set the head spacing under go gauge spec, .004 under is about where I ended up with fresh cases and with the selected fired case it puts me at .0015-.002 head space after sizing case back to min spec.
    I imagine all cases are different, that why I like to set back with a fired case from the chamber as it's a reflection of the current head spacing, if I want to set head spacing back to a true min spec the best way is a go gauge.
     
  10. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I concur. I have a go gauge. I debated and debated about trying to use brass and chickened out. I went with the gauge so I could get repeatable head spacing when I tear down to clean and things.

    To the OP, you just heard experience, so I would take his advice when using brass to set your head spacing.
     
  11. load

    load Well-Known Member

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    gun) use gauges gun)
     
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    You really don't need to do that, as the nut will usually pull the barrel forward .002"-.003" forward when under a load. Some guys have a master case they use that is actually about .002" shorter that the one they intend to use. I've never done that one. It is important to always use the same case everytime, or a gauge. Two pieces of Scotch tape will probably be about .005" - .008", and that's gonna cause you problems down the road. One layer should be more than enough.
    gary
     
  13. bajabill

    bajabill Well-Known Member

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    I always use a go gage, have about 14 barrels bouncing around on 4 actions so I need the piece of mind that I always set them the same. The good thing is that most gages will work for a family of chambers. I would never use virgin brass because I do not trust all to be the same. Could run into another unfired piece that will not fit but would fit in a barrel set with a gage.
     
  14. OKIE2

    OKIE2 Well-Known Member

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    where did you get your gun education from?
    There is nothing wrong with using a full length sized case to set your head space with. P O Ackley took a rifle and unscrewed the barrel one ful turn and fired a shell in it and it didn't blow up.
    I seen a guy fire a 30-06 shell in a 308 norma mag and it didn't blow up but the case did fit the 308 chamber afterwards. There was a 308 shell fired in a savage 25-06 and it didn't blowup either.
    The important thing is to set your head space to the same that your die is sizing them too.